Restoration Of Tidally Influenced Wetlands For Fish Habitat and Flood Protection

Ecosystem Investment Partners is financing and building tidal wetland habitat to provide the California Department of Water Resources with high quality Delta smelt habitat to help the state meet biological opinion (Endangered Species Act) requirements and expand storage for the Yolo Bypass to prevent dangerous flooding and protect important water resources.

EIP’s restoration of tidally influenced wetlands provides the Delta smelt habitat in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region and benefits many other species of concern.

Under the Endangered Species Act, the State of California is required to offset impacts to listed species, such as Delta smelt, that result from the operation of the State Water Project (SWP) in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The SWP is one of the largest public water and power utilities in the world, providing water for more than 23 million people. The California Department of Water Resources has contracted with EIP to purchase required offsets that will counterbalance impacts to Delta smelt– after EIP has fully restored acres to rigorous standards set by regulatory agencies.

Solano County, CA
3,400 acres of tidal wetland (in permitting)

Delta smelt habitat

Karla Nemeth, Director California Department of Water Resources (“DWR”), speaks to the benefits of EIP’s partnership with DWR:

Lookout Slough

Located in the Delta Smelt area

Restoration Initiative

The Lookout Slough Tidal Habitat Restoration project began with EIP’s acquisition of three contiguous properties totaling 3,400 acres in the Cache Slough region of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Leading fisheries biologists have identified this region as essential for sustaining and restoring populations of the Delta smelt. The project is also located at the southern end of the Yolo Bypass which provides important flood water conveyance. EIP is building over 3 miles of new protective levees along the west and north edges of the property, which will allow for breaching of the existing degraded levee along the Yolo Bypass and the restoration of historic tidal influence to the site. Primary and secondary channels are also being constructed to convey water across the entire property. Tidal influence is necessary to provide food web and habitat benefits to the Delta smelt.

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